Helicopter Update

It’s no secret that I have been struggling to make headway with the helicopter builds. Working six days a week with a two hour combined commute doesn’t provide much stability at the workbench. I am fighting through it and taking whatever I can get. It has taken way longer than I had wanted to but I now have primer applied to the Blackhawk, Hind, Huey, and Eurocopter. That was accomplished a few days before I left for vacation and they remain in my garage at my paint station “drying”. The Cobra remains untouched and waiting for some assembly. My goal is to tackle them with ferocity when I get home as I didn’t bring them along. That’s not to say that I didn’t bring any model along. But more on that tomorrow.

What’s A Hobby Shop?

Weird title for my blog right? Dangerously, I got to thinking tonight that it won’t be long before a generation comes along and asks that very question. You see, I am on Spring Break with my family in Branson, Missouri this week. As all my trips to any new city go, I search for any local hobby shops. My searches usually end with nothing more than a Hobby Lobby. This time, however, led me to Branson Hobby Center. An actual brick and mortar hobby shop. It’s main focus is aimed at the RC or train enthusiast but they did have some plastic to look through. I was very pleased to find two Airfix Martlets as well as an Airfix  Blenheim. There were quite a few more that I wanted to purchase but I resisted. Added to the three kits were two bottles of RAF Dark Earth and an AK-47 rubber-band gun and ammo for my son. All for $100.00. 


It felt great to actually step into a store and physically buy my kits instead of searching online or bidding on them. I realize with the internet that the days of the hobby shop are almost over. It’s saddening to witness and contribute to the demise. Nevertheless, I will continue to seek them out every chance that I get.

Simple Progression

Same story, different post. I am making progress so it’s not all rain clouds at the workbench. I am actually very pleased with my efforts after a good sanding session earlier this evening. The Hind was my main concern and I will admit that the shortcomings of this kit have been haunting me and keeping me from getting going on it. Sucking it up finally, I dove in tonight and gave it a good sanding. The nose needed re-glued for the second time so that was addressed as well. My feelings are much lighter now that I have taken the first steps. I think it will be better than I had originally thought. The nose will need to be sanded a bit and then I will get some primer applied to see where we stand.

The Blackhawk has been the other major player lately. The wind screen was installed earlier this week and you can see in the picture that the top of the door is missing. Well, it was a delicate fit that didn’t go so delicately. The instructions did direct me to install the wind screen before the door so it’s my fault. Not the best of scenarios but it looks like it should be a quick fix. So after that, the seams were filled on the top and bottom. I sanded them tonight and I think I have just a little more to go. After the door gets fixed, I will prime it and go from there.

The Eurocopter had a little work done with its belly seam getting fixed. Not totally, but we’re getting there. I think I will need at least one more round of filler to be satisfied. The paint scheme is still undecided on this build and I need to hurry it up. I will, of course, need some after market decals so I need to locate those as well. All in all a great build so far.

Looking For My Opening 

Establishing a comfortable groove is becoming extremely rare for me over the past year. What used to come extremely easy to me has now become very difficult. Multiple builds were my strength in the past and I am now finding it smarter to work on fewer at a time. I am hoping the phase is cyclical and I will find a smooth gear to transition into. Either way, the workbench remains active with a wide range of results.

So basically I am still hovering around the same state that I was after my last post. The Huey and Blackhawk received more masking and will soon get an application of primer to see where I really stand with them both. I am optimistic that the work that has been completed will be a solid start to both helicopters.


The Eurocopter has advanced a little farther with some more basic construction. The engine/exhaust compartments have been assembled and will need some sanding and preliminary painting before I can attach them to the fuselage. The canopy is all ready to install as well. This has been a nice build so far.


Th Hind is limping along fairly well. The intake section and bay doors were installed and upon doing that, I noticed that the fuselage was broken just behind the cockpit. Of course I can’t find the broken piece so I will have to manufacture one. It doesn’t look major so I am not super concerned. Aside from that, the sanding will be the major player at the workbench. A few good sit-downs and I should be all set.


The Cobra is in motion in one way or another. The lost seat has been resurrected into a somewhat acceptable clone. The cockpit will be closed so the illusion of a seat should suffice. At least I hope it will. That’s about as far as I am on this build. I will need to detail the seat and everything will resume as normal with the cockpit assembly and so on. Not super awesome strides taking place, but work  is getting done. Par for the course.



 

Getting My Hands Dirty

Progress has been trickling in the past couple of days and now the trickle is forming a nice sized puddle. The Cobra is the loner of the group with zero effort given to help it along. I figure I will address it when I get the other four well under way. Which, really, is now. Maybe I will tackle the Cobra tomorrow.

Until then, we’re getting things rolling on the rest and I am experiencing an array of results. I will start off with the Hind. I am a little disappointed in this kit. I expect more out of Hasegawa because of the premium that they demand. When I buy a kit, I expect to get what I pay for and this kit falls short in that department. The fuselage halves fit poorly resulting in some nasty gaps. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before so I am confident going into fixing the problem.



The Eurocopter was sanded last night and the entire belly seam was filled this evening. Not an encouraging sight but it shouldn’t be too big of a chore. The real progress came in the Blackhawk and Huey. They were both sanded last night with mixed results. More sanding will be needed but I wanted to get all the glass installed before I started to get primer sprayed. A lot less masking with that step out of the way. I am starting to settle in now and see my next steps more clearly. My goal tomorrow is to continue on with sanding as well as dig into the Cobra.


Getting A Little Bit Deeper

The weekend is expiring as I type this and while I didn’t get a spectacular sit-down to show magnificent efforts like I had planned, I did make some motivating headway. These helicopters are teaching me lessons with different aspects that I am not used to building. It’s foreign, but a nice change up so far.

I started with the Blackhawk and spent very little time installing the cockpit followed by both fuselage halves getting affixed together. All very much similar to an airplane build and right in my wheel house. The seams will be next to be addressed sometime this week.


The Huey was next with basically the same routine as the Blackhawk. Cockpit, fuselage, done. I will form an assembly line with the Huey, Blackhawk, Eurocopter, and a nice stack of sand paper. 

 

The Hind would be right there with the rest if not for a little more work needing to be completed first. I need to do a little engine work before I can join the fuselage halves. 

The Cobra still awaits my time on the missing seat. I would like to get that accomplished sometime this week if possible. I don’t think it will take too much time to modify the F-100 seat so I am quite hopeful at the very least. The workbench is staying active in some capacity so I am happy with that!

Helicopters!

Well it’s been about two weeks since I last reported on the start of The Helicopter Project. I wouldn’t say a whole lot has progressed in the weeks, but I also wouldn’t say that nothing has been accomplished. The rigors of work are grinding down lately leaving me zero motivation for long sessions at the workbench. I’ve kept my time limits to a minimum and have seen some gains. The past two weeks haven’t been a total loss. 

So I started the builds out like I normally would with preliminary painting. From there I moved on to seats and cockpits which was easy enough. Quite a bit more seatbelts to work with. Once that mass project was done as a whole I was able to work individually on each kit. 

The Blackhawk was first up with the cockpit assembly. I quickly noticed the bleak interior and made the wise decision of affixing the doors closed. Maybe I should have looked for a PE set? Regardless, I will be moving forward from here. There are a few more details I want to add before the cockpit gets installed. 

The Eurocopter was next with a very inspiring run. The cockpit assembled well so I used the momentum to get the fuselage halves together. The seams are rough and need som TLC for sure. I’m happy to have this one progressing. 

The Huey has its cockpit partially assembled. The directions call for another bench behind the pilot/co-pilot seats and I am skeptical that a medevac would have the extra bench. It never hurts to double check. 

The Hind is right there with the rest with the basic cockpit assembled. More details need to be accomplished but for the most part it’s complete. The provided details are blah, so I will need to get creative. 

Lastly, the Cobra is my problem child. Well, I’m my problem child. I must confess that I have lost one of the seats. Same story, different kit. I’m moving on with a seat from an F-100 that will be highly modified for this build. More on that in a later post. Other than that, I haven’t really spent much time on this build beyond preliminary paint. I’m kind of handcuffed until I can get the second seat. Hopefully soon.